I don't get this obsession with da Costa. Sure he had one goodish game against Tottenham, and the tactic of fielding a team of giants worked well at home to Stoke when they didn't have Etherington, but that apart, I would identify his selection as one of the main reasons why our season has gone into reverse again.
Here are some stats to ponder upon. Manuel has started 27 games in all competitions for West Ham and in those games we have kept just 4 clean sheets, strangely two of those against Tottenham. In those 27 games we have conceded 47 times, meaning that we have to score twice to draw when he starts!
Our points acquisition hasn't been bad - within context of what has happened in other games when he hasn't played - but remains no better than par. And the problem with playing da Costa is that either Tomkins, who was in superb form before the introduction of the Portuguese man mountain, is dropped or is played out of position. Etherington exposed Tomkins at right back in the cup game at Stoke; Petrov surely put an end to that experiment at Bolton.
Three into two won't go - unless it's one of Cole's parties - and, for me Tomkins and Upson are the superior pairing. We were playing well when they were paired together and Grant needs to revert to plan A quickly or Villa will put us on the brink of the drop.